As Sac State’s fall semester begins, here’s why Highway 50 may be worse than usual

It’s the first day of classes for Sacramento State and Los Rios community colleges, and commuters — students or otherwise — should be aware of traffic and congestion this week and beyond.

Sacramento State has urged its 30,000 students and faculty to avoid Folsom Boulevard due to construction between 65th Street and Hornet Drive, which will affect not only drivers, but also pedestrians and cyclists, the CSUS website warned last week.

Impact from Folsom Boulevard construction will likely increase congestion issues on Highway 50 as well, where rush-hour traffic typically worsens during the first few weeks of instruction at the campus each semester.

Highway 50 traffic was slowed in both directions at Howe Avenue by 7:45 a.m. Monday, the first weekday of instruction at Sacramento State, Sacramento City College, Folsom Lake College, American River College and Cosumnes River College.

This semester could be a particularly rough one for Sacramento-area commuters. The last time CSUS and Los Rios colleges began their fall semesters the same week was in 2012.

Sacramento State recommends taking alternate routes to campus to avoid Folsom Boulevard, including the J Street entrance or the Howe Avenue exit. Construction is expected to last through December.

Commuters should plan to allow plenty of time for their morning drive, especially college students looking to secure their spot in classes. Afternoon/evening commute could also see traffic jams on Highway 50 near Howe Avenue.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee